Video surveillance is a mission-critical system within the gaming sector. Not only do casinos have to be on the lookout for professional fraudsters who prey on distracted dealers and players, but they also have to stay vigilant against a wide variety of risks, such as drunken or rowdy behavior, crowding, loss and other issues that impact the safety of employees and customers. Casinos want the best in technology to not only ensure security and fraud reduction but be able to track advantage players, identify lost/left behind items and reduce employee theft. At times, budget constraints and regulatory concerns can slow down the adoption of newer technologies.
Casinos also have to comply with a variety of industry regulations, passed down by various gaming boards. Although they may vary from region-to-region, nearly every casino must adhere to some type of minimum standard as it relates to the operation of its surveillance system — be it minimum resolution/frame rate requirements or video retention. Regulatory agencies across the globe specify the number of cameras a facility must have per table or slot machine — the standard implemented depends on different factors.
With these considerations in mind, as facilities increasingly look to adopt the latest advanced technologies, here are four best practices that every casino, regardless of their shape or size, should take under advisement as they endeavor to optimize their video surveillance investment:
Ensure Quality of Video
There is no compromising when it comes to video image quality. While cheaper alternatives may be appealing from a cost perspective, less advanced devices are not equipped to handle the modern stresses of a casino — an environment with flashing lights, bright and dark areas, and significant 24×7 movement. Installing cameras that have been purpose-built to perform in casino settings are ideal. If a manufacturer doesn’t offer particular customizations suited to this market, then the odds are that their cameras haven’t been tested to withstand the rigors of a gaming floor.
Have Quality Backup Systems in Place
Just as paramount as video quality is within a casino, so is redundancy. Per regulatory agencies, if any part of a camera system fails, the casino may be forced to cease operations until the system is brought back to health. Casinos must ensure there is no single point of failure within its surveillance system. A good way to test this is by going through and turning off various pieces of equipment to see how fast redundant systems take effect and whether or not there are any performance issues once back online.
Make Ease of Use a Priority
Events happen fast— surveillance teams need instant access to video footage to track threats in real-time and upon a review request. Tracking personnel around a casino floor can prove to be a challenge considering the rows upon rows of slot machines and table games. Some facilities even have multiple gaming floors. The last thing you want is for surveillance personnel having to resort to an inefficient system to gain access to the footage they require. As such, the video management system should be optimized for gaming operations and allow users to tag suspects quickly or mark groups of cameras to simplify system management.
Leverage the Power of Video with Third-Party Software Integration
Casinos are looking to get the most out of the video data generated on a daily basis. One of the ways businesses accomplish this is by integrating the surveillance network with other software platforms, such as point-of-sale systems or building controls. A casino’s VMS should also be able to interface with other security sensors on the gaming floor. Ideally, if a slot machine were to be opened, the door alarm on that machine should be sent to the control room, and a camera feed from the area should immediately pop onto an operator’s screen to verify the footage. However, that is currently not the case for a majority of systems within the industry.
The pace of technology advancement means that casinos must be prepared for the next-generation of video hardware and software solutions to make sure they are ready to evolve operations when the time is right. Now is the time to get educated on where you can take your investments. Learn more about Pelco solutions for the casinos and gaming sector here.